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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: The grandson also rises

IKE, oldest of the grandsons, has completed music camp and is off to outdoor camp. His mother says he is to learn how to build a fire and construct a shelter in the woods.

This sounds to me suspiciously like Common Core. I think he should reach higher.

But the kid is a rising second grader, so what do I know?

What I didn’t know, until it started popping up all over our newspaper last week, was what the heck “rising’’ meant.

Within two days, I read of a “rising 8th grader’’ in Bedford, a “rising’’ senior at Goffstown High, and a “rising junior at Boston College.

I am familiar with “rising stars’’ and I knew that kids often have difficulty “rising’’ (never mind “shining’’) in the morning. But I was unfamiliar with this use of the adjective and did not find it at all risible.

Turns out, “rising’’ is a way of saying that someone is about to become a junior, senior, or whatever grade.

The Lady of the Little House knew its meaning; and a couple of the newsroom editors looked at me as if I were sporting two heads when I asked about it. Funny thing, but more and more they look at me in that way. Does this mean I am a rising retiree?

They asked me how I would write that a kid was betweeen grades.

“Well,’’ I ventured, “I might say the kid is between grades.’’

They didn’t appear to be satisfied by this, or even sanguine.

Meanwhile, I am wondering if it is a good idea to teach Ike how to build a fire and a shelter. He is pretty responsible, but little brothers Mike and Spike? Not so much.

These two might one day find work at the West Side pizza joint recently in the news.

This would be the one that police have been watching since 2009 and whose ownership has since been linked to an international marijuana ring.

Authorities may have been suspicious because during all this time (five years?) they never saw a pizza come out of the place (although I hear the joint moved a lot of oregano).

If I were the pizza shop owner, I would rely on the “rising dough’’ defense.

Write to Joe McQuaid at Publisher@unionleader.com or on Twitter at @deucecrew.


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